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Martin Taylor is right to sell BZW and recalls George Soros turning red over lunch

By John Plender   November 1997

The argument between the advocates of shareholder value and stakeholder capitalism often sounds like the dispute in Gulliver’s Travels over the best end of the egg from which to extract the yoke. The short-termist Anglo- Saxons-call them little-enders-under-invest but use capital very efficiently. The stakeholder economies-or big-enders-invest heavily but less productively. Yet growth rates in the two sets of economies have been converging.

The risk of generalisation becomes apparent when you look at Barclays’ decision to spin off BZW, its investment banking arm. The sudden reversal in Barclays’ view of what constitutes a core business looks typically Anglo-Saxon-hardly the way…

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